I am starting my research in a few days, and I could not be more excited for this wonderful opportunity that I have received. However, I am also slightly nervous, as this is going to be the first time that I am going to be in a foreign country for so long by myself.
I expect to grow and develop as a person in a few ways:
- Language and Heritage: I do genuinely hope that my Chinese becomes better. Using Chinese is quite easy for me, but I have never needed to use the language in such a complete capacity before. I also want to update my knowledge of my own culture, since it has been quite a while since I have been back to China. I try my best to keep up with what is happening, but being in the United States is definitely different than living in China itself.
- Knowledge and Awareness: I want to be able to learn skills from my research that I will be able to apply in my future career in international and economic development. I want to understand how to more effectively interact and engage with different people. I want to use this summer as a way for me to become more culturally and socially aware about issues. These issues may not directly impact me, but they affect the society I live in, and that matters.
- Confidence: I hope that through this experience, I will be able to grow more confident in my knowledge of a field that I am passionate about. I want to be able to share what I have learned to others back at Rice and extend what I do this summer to future projects in some way. Additionally, I want to be more comfortable with traveling and interacting with different communities abroad, since that is something that I see myself doing in the future.
I am looking forward to a summer full of learning and exploring, and I cannot wait to begin my project in a few days.